The facilitation meeting will provide a platform for participants to exchange information and experiences; to identify priority areas for implementation within the Action Line; and to create synergies among different stakeholders for more effective knowledge sharing and collaboration in the implementation process.
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), especially the promotion and use of ICTs by public authorities will play a critical role in promoting, advancing and measuring the Sustainable Development Goals. The role of ICTs is crucial in order to realize the principle of “no one left behind” during the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. As stated in the Agenda, the spread of ICT and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies, as does scientific and technological innovation across areas as diverse as medicine and energy. ICTs can help to reach marginalized and vulnerable groups particularly via mobile technologies while making institutions more efficient, transparent, inclusive and participatory, including by the deployment of electronic government. They are also critical in monitoring and evaluation aspects to make sure that all marginalized and vulnerable groups are included and benefit from development policies. The promotion of ICT has to be supplemented by other measures in the areas of education and sustainable development more generally.
The use of ICTs in the public sector and e-government can help ensure a fully participatory approach by creating structures for communication and collaboration that enable coordination. Such an approach strengthens actions among governments, key stakeholders, international organizations, NGOs, the private sector and civil society. It also enables public access to information and protects fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.
Expansion of e-government services can also be a driver of demand for ICT, as well as a provider of affordable access. For example, shared public kiosks provide direct access to services while intermediary service providers do so indirectly. This expansion can increase access to ICT and contribute to the target of providing universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.